Friday, 30 April 2010


It suddenly feels so very like April (even though it will be May tomorrow!). The garden seems to be relaxing into itself, with plants expanding by the day and all looking so strong and confident, not least the tulips. There has been such a change between the beginning of the month and now.

I'm reading The Secret Garden with my daughter. I'm ashamed to say I'd never read it before, but seeing as I'm researching gardens for my dissertation it seemed a fitting time to get round to it.

In the section we read last night there was a little passage that just summed up what was going on outside perfectly. When asked what spring was like Mary says:

"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth"

The damson blossom that I mentiond last time is now so full on the little tree that the branches are encrusted with flowers and the rest of the garden has a delicate sprinkling of white confetti. It's certainly never been as laden as this before. The two white swathes I mentioned have now been joined by the blossom on Joe's pear tree, finally out properly (this was taken a couple of days ago).

I have done a little weaving this week, which was such a relief after all the reading and non-tactile work I've been concentrating on. I'm still on the orange warp. I was trying to play with the different greens and greys (there are a lot of grey/greens and green/greys) that are in the garden right now it so it was interesting to put these together with the orange and see how they react with each other.

I do find greens a challenge - there are just so many! To be honest I try to avoid using green because whenever I do it seems such a tricky balancing act that I've tended to shy away from it. I did have to use greens in 15 Images as the colour palette I worked with was presented to me as part of the brief. I did manage to bring some variation in by using different shades of the specific types of green, in different threads and print materials. Of course just using different fibres that have been dyed at the same time in the same vat present different shades and qualities, so I tried to incorporate this.

For the first performance last August at Farfield Mill, Cumbria we used a plasma screen for the animated digital images and there were problems with some of the colours appearing differently to how I had seen them on my computer screen, particularly the greens. The performance on 10th May in Bradford will see my images projected onto a white wall, so we'll have to see how they work using that method...By the way, the event is listed in Embroidery magazine this month in the What's On section, which is great. The only problem is that it is listed as a free event and due to some slight changes to the arrangements with the University there is a small charge for tickets. If you'd like to come then I recommend booking a ticket as seats will be limited.

This post was going to be about tulips, but they'll have to wait for another time now...

Current listening: The Punchbowl, Seth Lakeman

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